The ARF Central Committee Eastern Region released the following statement after Armenian President Serge Sarkisian met with Armenian American organizations in New York City on Oct. 3.
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Today, representatives of the ARF Central Committee Eastern Region were present at a meeting between Armenia President Serge Sarkisian and various eastern United States Armenian American organizations at the Palace Hotel in New York City.
We attended to tell President Sarkisian why the ARF opposes the Armenia-Turkey protocols in their current state. We urged President Sarkisian to stop the dangerous protocols signing and ratification process and recommit himself and his government to establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey that don’t endanger the inalienable rights of the entire Armenian Nation.
We pointed to those parts of the protocols that are especially adverse to the Armenian Nation’s interests, including the sections that:
1. Promise that Armenia will formally recognize Turkey’s current border, thus validating the dispossession of Western Armenia and waiving the right of the Armenian Nation to negotiate fully over Armenian Genocide reparations.
2. Promise that Armenia will permit the Armenian Genocide to be assessed “impartially” and “scientifically” using historic documents, as if the fact of the genocide has not been already researched in that manner exhaustively. Such a formulation opens the path toward rendering the genocide debatable.
3. Promise that Armenia will defend the integrity of its neighboring nations’ territorial claims, thereby jeopardizing the self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabagh.
We sounded these alarms and emphasized our serious concerns to President Sarkisian face-to-face on behalf of our members and supporters in the eastern United States. However, during the course of the meeting, it became clear to us that our appeals were falling on deaf ears.
The Armenian government’s defense of the protocols baffles us when their content clearly evinces Armenia’s abdication to Turkey and her long-standing and openly held anti-Armenia and anti-Nagorno-Karabagh agenda. President Sarkisian apparently has not heeded our and others’ warnings about Turkey’s open anti-Armenian political ambitions, choosing instead to repeat unconvincing claims that the protocols contain no preconditions and represent a great step forward for Armenia-Turkey diplomatic relations.
We attended the meeting, conveyed our message, and received President Sarkisian’s unbending response. At this point, we can only hope that President Sarkisian seriously entertains our concerns and those he has already heard—and will continue to hear—from the Armenian Diaspora and back home in Armenia. President Sarkisian’s failure to take heed and recess the protocol signing and ratification process will lead the Armenian Nation into a dangerous political thicket from which she and her people will not emerge unscathed.
ARF Central Committee
Oct. 3, 2009